Huawei stresses respectful approach to IP

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China's telecom giant Huawei displays 5G technology at the 2018 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Feb. 26, 2018. [File photo/Xinhua]

Huawei Technologies Co on Thursday warned against the risks of intellectual property being politicized, saying that such a move will break the foundation of global innovation.

Song Liuping, Huawei's chief legal officer, said, "If politicians use IP as a political tool, they will destroy confidence in the patent protection system. If some governments selectively strip companies of their IP, it will break the foundation of global innovation."

The comments came after United States Senator Marco Rubio filed legislation to prevent Huawei from suing for patent fees in US courts, a move which analysts said earlier will disrupt the global intellectual property system and damage the US government's self-proclaimed righteousness concerning patents.

Song said intellectual property is private property, protected by the law, and disputes should be resolved through legal proceedings.

He added that in the past 30 years, no court has ever concluded that Huawei engaged in malicious IP theft, and Huawei has never been required by the court to pay damages for this.

Huawei's collaborative and respectful approach to IP is demonstrated by the simple fact that many of its technological breakthroughs are incorporated into the open standards that govern 3G, 4G and 5G. As a result, even though some countries do not buy products directly from Huawei, they can still use the essential patents of Huawei, and share in the benefits of the technology Huawei creates, Song said.

Huawei reportedly has asked US telecom carrier Verizon Communications to pay $1 billion to license the rights to Huawei's patented technology earlier this month.

The company on Thursday said it will not weaponize its portfolio of patents as innovation and intellectual property protection lie at the heart of its success.

Huawei said it has paid more than $6 billion in royalties since 2015 to legally implement the IP of other companies, with nearly 80 percent of that paid to US companies.

Song Liuping said the company "will adopt an open and cooperative attitude and follow the principle of fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" when engaging with relevant parties in the industry on patents licensing.

As of the end of 2018, Huawei has been granted 87,805 patents, of which 11,152 are US patents. Since 2015, the company has received over $1.4 billion in patent licensing revenue, data from Huawei shows.

The comment came after Huawei released a white paper on intellectual property on Thursday and it warned against the issue being politicized.

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